Retailers shy away from last-minute Christmas orders

shutterstock_34925347Shoppers are in for a surprise this Christmas as retailers plan to bring forward their last order dates. This is despite the fact that for Christmas 2014 more shoppers are confident enough to leave their online shopping later than ever before.

Research by Manhattan Associates show:

  • 57% of shoppers confident in pushing back their Christmas shopping this year.
  • 34% of retailers have less confidence in their fulfilment capabilities this year and are bringing forward last order dates.
  • Only 17% retailers planning on extending last order date, despite customer demands.
  • 49% of shoppers would do more shopping online if there were better fulfilment options.
  • 25% of shoppers have boycotted a retailer after a bad Christmas retail experience.

Having visibility of stock across the entire supply network is critical for improving availability and driving sales, however, it is the ability to fulfil orders from a location which ensures a profit that is the real key to ensuring the success of new fulfilment offerings.

Craig Sears-Black, UK managing director of Manhattan Associates said: “Retail supply chains are continuously being pushed to the limit – especially during the festive season. Shoppers that can’t receive their goods when they want them simply won’t shop with that retailer any longer.”

When profit or loss can be determined by a one or two per cent sales swing, these service failures can be significant.

Craig Sears-Black continued: “The surge of online orders around Christmas forces retailers to either set early deadlines for orders, or kill profitability by committing to expensive fulfilment options. Many retailers are limiting their chance to capitalise on the rush of last minute Christmas orders because they simply don’t have the back-end systems in place to deliver on customer demands.”

The research by Manhattan Associates questioned 2,000 people and 100 UK retail professionals about their offline and online shopping preferences and preferred fulfilment options and capabilities.